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Slides from the presentation "Why Open Source in the Public Sector?" at the "The state of Open Source in the International arena" seminar in Vaasa Apr 27, 2011

Slides from the presentation "Why Open Source in the Public Sector?" at the "The state of Open Source in the International arena" seminar in Vaasa Apr 27, 2011

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  • 1. Why Open Source in the Public Sector? The state of Open Source in the International arena Vaasa 2011-04-27 Tommi Karttaavi
  • 2. Association of Finnish Local andRegional Authorities (Kuntaliitto)• Interest, service and development organisation of the Finnish local government• All Finnish municipalities are members of the association; service agreements with other local government organisations• Kuntaliitto Group employs 1.310 people; 300 in the association and others in the companies it owns
  • 3. Use of open source software in municipalities (Municipal IT-survey 2006 and 2010)Municipalities using open Municipalities using opensource software in 2006 source software in 2010(blue) (blue)
  • 4. Reasons for using Open Source in thepublic sector• Cost savings• Democracy• Interoperability• Reuse of technology
  • 5. Cost savings• Using open source software can help reduce IT spending• Not automatic, license fees just one cost among many others• Sometimes migrating to open source may even be more expensive, due to poor planning or having to buy a lot of expert services • City of Naantali migrated its schools from Linux to Microsoft environment in 2010, citing costs as the reason • The municipal IT-department could not support the Linux environment at schools, so the support had to be outsourced
  • 6. Linux terminal servers in schools• Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) is a free and open source terminal server• Applications run on the server with a terminal known as a thin client• Dozens of schools in Finland are using LTSP solutions for workstations• Map by Elias Aarnio:• City of Kankaanpää • Schools in Kankaanpää migrated to LTSP from Windows in 2009 • Monthly costs per workstation went down from EUR 34 to EUR 5,67
  • 7. Ministry of Justice OpenOfficemigration• In 2005 the Ministry and its administrative sector had a mixture of Lotus SmartSuite and Microsoft Office (plus some WordPerfect) office suites• The mixed environment was causing problems and the prevalent Lotus SmartSuite was being discontinued• Evaluation of alternative solutions was conducted
  • 8. Ministry of Justice cost savings fromOpenOffice migration• was selected after evaluating the costs of alternatives over the period of six years (2006-2011)• A new cost evaluation was conducted in 2010Source: Large-scale migration to an open source office suite: An innovation adoptionstudy in Finland, Martti Karjalainen, academic dissertation, Univ. of Tampere, 2010
  • 9. Democracy• “No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first” EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes• Public authorities should be able to receive documents from citizens or businesses in standardised and open formats• Software used in public administration should be auditable• Using open source software in schools makes it possible for the students to use the same software at home, without having to pay for it
  • 10. Interoperability• Interoperability does not automatically follow from using open source• Open source can increase interoperability by making the softwares functionality transparent• Using open source helps avoiding vendor lock-in• Open standards are even more important than open source from the interoperability point of view
  • 11. Reuse• Open source solutions that can be copied, altered and used by anyone are a great way of sharing within the public sector• Possibility to reuse software could offer significant benefits for the public sector• Software developed for an individual municipality could be used by all of them• Costs can be saved in licence fees, development costs and even maintenance and support
  • 12.• A citizens portal with personalised access to municipal services• Made with open source software • Liferay, JBoss, Openfire, Alfresco, Intalio, MySQL, Redhat• Components developed by contractor (Ixonos) are also open source and available at• The architecture model and documentation has also been made available •
  • 13. Obstacles for using open source in thepublic sector• Prejudices• Lack of skills• Lack of knowledge• Lack of governance
  • 14. Prejudices• Open source is not serious business• Licensing is too confusing• Procurement is too difficult• Open source is not secure
  • 15. Lack of skills• Using open source is just like using proprietary software, development and distribution however require specialised know-how• Public authorities generally lack the expertise • Proprietary software is prevalent • Resources are scant and they are not shared with others• Open source procurement needs some expertise too • Comparing tenders with or without license fees • Public authorities should prefer open source when buying software
  • 16. Lack of knowledge• “Where can I find the software I need?”• “How do I know it is good?”• “Where can I find someone who supports it?”• “Who else is using it?”• Hard to find out how other public authorities are using open source• No gathering of best practices and no place to publish them on the national level
  • 17. Lack of governance• Some common governance policies and routines are needed to effectively utilise open source in the public sector• There is no centralised distribution channel for disseminating software developed for public authorities• There is no administrative framework for version management• There are no common licensing policies for public authorities
  • 18. Overcoming the obstacles• Prejudices • Open source business models are becoming more mainstream• Lack of skills • A new kind of culture, where not only software but other resources are shared between public authorities needs to be fostered • Best practices need to be documented and disseminated• Lack of knowledge • Objective information should be gathered and published on the national level • JHS recommendation system• Lack of governance • The European Open Source Observatory and Repository • The national interoperability portal • The European Union Public License (EUPL)
  • 19. Some public policy documents worthreading• Recommendation on the Openness of the Code and Interfaces of State Information Systems (2003) • 04_hallinnon_kehittaminen/64242/name.jsp• JHS 169 Public Administration Recommendation on the Use of Open Source software in Public Administration (2008) •• Public administration enterprise architecture principles (2011, draft) • akirjat/20110407Luonno/11_JHKA_Arkkitehtuuriperiaatteet_20 110404.pdf
  • 20. Public administration enterprise architectureprinciple number 16: make use of open source• Open source solutions should be made use of in information systems development and procurement• Open source solutions support technology and product neutrality, increase competition, transparency and adaptability
  • 21. Public authorities should...• Prefer open source software when feasible• Demand open licenses when buying software development• Share the code and share the experiences• Cooperate more within the public sector, pool resources and stop re-inventing the wheel• Stop concentrating on their own budget and start thinking about benefits for the society as a whole
  • 22. “The modernisation of public services and administration must rely on information technology. At the same time, it is particularly important to adjust processes and structures tofully utilise the benefits of IT. Administrative andservice processes must be developed throughout as a whole, from the perspective of either the customer or the product in question. Partialoptimisation carried out by government agencies or sectors of administration, which is inefficient from the perspective of the whole, must be eliminated.”Finland 2020 – From thought to action, a press release by the Council of State 30.8.2010
  • 23. Thank you!